President Tsai Ing-wen met with Somaliland Representative Office in Taiwan Representative Mohamed Omar Hagi Mohamoud on the morning of October 12. The president stated that Taiwan and Somaliland will work to launch various cooperative projects and promote exchanges in many areas. She also expressed hope that the two countries can share their democratic experiences so that together, we can promote democratic values.
A translation of President Tsai's remarks follows:
This year, Taiwan and Somaliland established Representative Offices in each other's countries, marking a new era in bilateral relations. And the day before yesterday, for the first time, a representative of Somaliland attended Taiwan's National Day celebration. On behalf of the people of Taiwan, I want to thank Somaliland for its support for our country. I also want to offer a warm welcome to Mr. Mohamoud as he takes up his new post as Somaliland's first representative to Taiwan.
For some time now, I have seen many news reports calling Somaliland "Taiwan's new friend." So everyone is eager to learn more, and the Internet has many articles introducing and discussing Somaliland. With new friends, the most important thing is to increase communication and exchanges. And since coming to Taiwan to take up his post in August, Mr. Mohamoud has helped Taiwanese get to know Somaliland better through a number of activities, from attending economic and trade forums to speaking on college campuses. This has helped both the public and private sectors discover more bilateral cooperation opportunities.
Representative Mohamoud has previously mentioned the "Horn of Africa," highlighting Somaliland's key strategic location. In the Indo-Pacific region, Taiwan also occupies an important geostrategic position. I am confident that through close bilateral cooperation, we can leverage each other's strengths and diversify our development.
In the past, our countries have cooperated in areas such as healthcare, education, and maritime security. The Taiwan Root Medical Peace Corps has also travelled to Somaliland numerous times to offer free clinics. In the future, our respective Representative Offices will work to launch various cooperation projects, promote exchanges in many areas, and deepen the friendship between our peoples.
Representative Mohamoud has been in Taiwan for two months now, so from the everyday lives of Taiwanese and our recent National Day activities, I am sure you have seen and felt the vitality of our democracy and freedoms. These are Taiwan's most precious assets, and the key values that guide us when choosing friends in the international community.
Our new friend, Somaliland, is a model of democracy in Africa. And like Taiwan, Somaliland continues striving to deepen democracy. Next May, Somaliland will hold parliamentary and local council elections together for the first time. I would like to offer best wishes for a smooth election, and hope that Taiwan and Somaliland can share democratic experiences so that together, we can promote democratic values.
I hope that our concerted efforts will make Taiwan and Somaliland strong partners in the international arena, providing mutual support, and furthering bilateral relations as we continue to write the next chapter in our diplomatic friendship.
In closing, I would like to ask Representative Mohamoud to convey best regards from Taiwan to President Muse Bihi Abdi.
After the conclusion of President Tsai's remarks, Representative Mohamoud delivered remarks of his own, saying that he was honored to meet with President Tsai again and appreciated such a high-ranking official reception and treatment in the Presidential Office. He also expressed his gratitude for the warm welcome he received from the government and the friendly and hospitable people of Taiwan since he arrived here.
The purpose of his visit, Representative Mohamoud noted, was to strengthen our two countries' official and special relationship, and further cement our bilateral cooperation. Through this meeting with President Tsai, our mutual respect and understanding have surely solidified a lasting and strong friendly bond between our two great, free, and democratic nations, he said.
Representative Mohamoud stated that Somaliland has proven to be a beacon of democracy, development, and peace over the last three decades, and continues to contribute to the global community of brotherly nations. He expressed hope that the bilateral cooperation between Taiwan and Somaliland will always continue to flourish across areas ranging from the economy, security of counterparty, social development, and investment and trade.
The representative then mentioned Somaliland's record of democratization and keeping their territory free of terror and piracy, and also further explained other achievements. He stated that Somaliland hosts many refugees from Somalia, Yemen, Syria, and many other countries, thus sharing the burden of managing the impact to world conflict while working with global and regional governments, and other international partners to maintain security in the face of illicit followers of arms and unregulated human trafficking.
Representative Mohamoud emphasized that the bilateral accord between Taiwan and Somaliland is based on our common values of freedom and democracy. It is to initiate efforts to strengthen relations in areas of common interest that may promote bilateral trade and economic cooperation among our peoples. He believes that there is much room to improve our special bilateralism.
The representative mentioned that Somaliland President Abdi has made it clear that future Somaliland relations with other countries should be based on maximizing trade and investment potential rather than dependency. The Somaliland government is welcoming large Taiwanese companies to invest and trade with Somaliland in their most high-potential sectors, including telecommunications, finance, the digital economy, fishing, agriculture, construction, alternative energy, and mining, he said.
Taiwan and Somaliland share many historical and strategic affinities, Representative Mohamoud said. We both managed to overcome the negative effect of the unfortunate international isolation. Our two countries not only contribute to a just, peaceful, and equitable world, but also succeeded in outperforming many better resourced countries by exhibiting an attractive image globally through peace, democracy, and innovative freedoms.
In closing, Representative Mohamoud extended his gratitude to Taiwan for helping his country contain the spread of COVID-19 and providing scholarships and health services.